I often find myself wondering if the people I talk to really understand how a website or web application works. I’ve seen recent studies that showed under 40% of the businesses in the United States still don’t have an online presence. I can only assume that most, if not all, of these businesses don’t understand what work really goes into a website. This article is my attempt to explain the development side of the web in an approachable manner.
Front End Development is to Carpentry, as Back End Development is to Engineering.
When it comes to building brick & mortar and online companies, there are architects in both industries. Where one uses blueprints, the other uses flow charts. In both industries, there are also designers, engineers & carpenters. This is a good analogy is because you can really help folks who, haven’t been able to comprehend what websites are really made, make better sense of things.
Carpentry & Front End Development
When it comes to carpentry, there’s concrete laying, framing, roofing, dry walling, tiling, installing doors, staircases, furniture and so on. Front end development can be just as extensive, with the biggest difference being cost of materials, where carpentry has a lot of material costs, front end development almost all just the cost of labor. Front end developers build the framework & foundation for the internet; front end development can be broken down into three major components:
- Structure (HTML)
- Presentation (CSS & WebGL)
You combine these components to construct device & content responsive templates, buttons, menus, forms, animations, modal windows, sliders, interactive video and so on. In both cases, both industries require that their work be created with quality and performance in mind and end up usable and accessible. Only front end development isn’t nearly as regulated as carpentry (with building codes ’n‘ all).
Engineering & Back End Development
Maintenance for a Safe & Reliable Home (or Website)
If the lights weren’t wired up to the electric, they wouldn’t work. If any of the electric, gas or water becomes faulty, this could end up costing you your building or house. The need for regular maintenance also applies to development, you never want your website to break while someone is visiting your website. You never want to be hacked because your code leaves some sort of clue to a backdoor. Maintaining your code is super important, especially if you’re dealing with sensitive data like credit card information on an eCommerce platform (online store).
What it’s all about…
Development is about building a great product or service that is high performing, accessible, usable, secure, and logical. Development is about making your life easier and giving you a place for your business to grow. When done right, development is an investment that should guarantee that you’ll see a return in a reasonable amount of time.